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The drama down the cat walk continues in search of Top Model

Yemi Lotan | Interrobang | Lifestyles | October 1st, 2007

Amercia's Next Top Model, Cycle 9
Airing 8p.m. on Wednesday, Citytv

“America's Next Top Model” sends 13 women from around the United States down the runway in the hopes of being crowned runway elite and winning a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl Cosmetics and Ford Models, plus a fashion spread in Elle magazine.

The competition intensifies in Cycle 9 of The CW's hit series “ANTM,” as the 13 finalists battle to turn their hopes of becoming a top model into reality. This season, a huge transformation takes place as the finalists face tougher challenges and photo shoots, ranging from incredibly sensational to high-tech and controversial, all while living fiercely under one roof in a posh Los Angeles mansion.

The contestants' abilities are also tested each week as they strive to master the runway, attempt to take good fashion photo shoots, learn perfect publicity skills and study the business aspects of becoming a supermodel (all under 24-hour camera surveillance) Amusingly, between being photographed and walking the runway, the contestants make friends and enemies with one another, wholly adding to the show's drama.

While America's Next Top Model promotes some less-than-positive images of women (cattiness and the value based on one's physical appearance), the competition aspect of the show is “entertaining,” and viewers are likely to find some of the characters interesting and engaging. The competition also features contestants from a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. This nod to diversity is definitely a step forward and has the potential of creating talking points for both parents and teens, as well as highlighting the very different and unique faces of beauty.

Nevertheless, while highly entertaining, one can expect some offensive language during fights, as well as some problematic messages about women and their bodies. Other than that, for mature teens, it is a sneak peek into the exciting world of fashion and an absolute guilty pleasure.

Throughout the show, supermodel Tyra Banks, art director of photo shoots Jay Manuel, and runway guru J. Alexander mentor the participants. Banks also leads the panel of judges, comprised of leading fashion industry experts, including supermodel Twiggy, photographer Nigel Barker, as well as Manuel and Alexander, who closely evaluate the progress of the models to narrow the field each week. In addition, special guest judges appear to critique within his or her area of expertise.

You can review the new slate of models and start picking your favourites now. Here are the 13 names you'll be seeing a lot of over the next few weeks: Ambreal, Bianca, Chantal, Ebony, Heather, Lisa, Janet, Jenah, Kimberly, Mila, Saliesha, Sarah, and Victoria (the girl who wants to represent the nerds)

“America's Next Top Model” is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment, in association with Bankable Productions. Tyra Banks is the creator and executive producer along with Ken Mok (“Making the Band”) and Anthony Dominici (“The Amazing Race”). It airs every Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Citytv.
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